The province says a total of 84,716 cases have been resolved, and 3,451 deaths have been recorded overall. "And overall, we're heading in the wrong direction". Public Health Ontario reports 400 new cases in Peel, 393 cases in Toronto and 168 in York Region.
The province also announced that the regions of Durham and Waterloo will join Hamilton, and Halton and York Regions in the "red zone", with the highest restrictions short of a lockdown under the government's colour-coded COVID-19 framework.
"As the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic grips our province, we all need to do our part to protect ourselves and our loved ones and keep our communities safe", said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones.
"We're seeing concerning trends, our hospital ICU beds are in jeopardy and our long-term care homes are at risk".
The inspectors will support municipal police, bylaw officers and public health officers in educating businesses and enforcing the rules, the province said.
In the province's long-term care homes, 619 residents now have COVID-19 and 15 new deaths have been reported today.
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Data published on Thursday showed AstraZeneca's vaccine candidate produced a strong immune response in older adults. These trial results from the University of Oxford, peer-reviewed in the Lancet , suggest that may not be a problem.
As of Wednesday, there are 670 schools in Ontario with a reported cases of COVID-19.
Shopping malls and other non-essential services will also have to close but will be able to remain open for pick-up and delivery.
Ford did not specify the scale of the new "tough" measures on Thursday, saying that he has yet to see the recommendations.
"We do not want to forget that all these numbers represent human beings, who have people who love them and care for them", Dr. Barbara Yaffe, associate chief medical officer of health, said Thursday.
No indoor organized public events or social gatherings except with members of the same household.
On Thursday, Ontario reported 150 COVID-19 patients in its intensive care units, which earlier modelling suggested would be the point at which elective surgeries would have to be cancelled. Dr. Tam said Canada is now on track to see 20,000 new cases a day by the end of December if people continue the same level of socializing.